John Robb at Global Guerillas points to a report from the FBI that finds a a rise both in the number of gang members in the military and in the number of former military members in street gangs.
There are some problems with the report. For example, listing juggalos as gang members is absurd (here’s my prior writing on the subject). But if this trend is real, it could lead to some serious problems. As described by Robb:
The big worry about gangs in the US military is a repeat of what happened in Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. When the Soviet Union collapsed economically, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers with fresh combat experience in Afghanistan (and little to offer in terms of skills) were dumped onto the street and into the waiting arms of criminal organizations. This process quickly turned Russian economics into a shooting sport. A place where wealth and firepower became synonymous.
The US, currently running a $1.5 trillion a year deficit with the spectre of HUGE cuts in the military (reduction in force) as an absolute certainty, will dump hundreds of thousands of combat vets onto the street w/o an economy able to absorb them. This is particularly true with the US economy about to start its next contraction w/o even recovering from the last one. Guess what happens next…
Global Guerillas: US Military + Gangs
Giganticon wrote on Twitter: “In many states with strict gun laws being a vet can bypass them, probibly desirable in a gang recruit.”
Nicholas Pell mentions that an episode of Gangland covers this subject as well.